Beckham awes Pinoys as Galaxy trip Azkals
MANILA, Philippines — Inspired by a sublime performance from David Beckham, the Los Angeles Galaxy walloped the Philippine Azkals, 6-1, Saturday night before a huge crowd at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila.
Beckham scored the opening goal—a trademark curling right-footed strike from outside of the box in the 20th minute—to spark the Galaxy to victory against a Filipino side that looked threatening in the first half.
The crowd appeared stunned, perhaps even awed, at the way Beckham—so effortless and so precise—curled the ball, finding the top left corner over the flailing arms of Azkals goalkeeper Eduard Sacapano.
Mike Magee doubled the lead in the 28th with an expertly taken strike from just outside the box, following a brilliant layoff from captain Landon Donovan.
The Azkals’ only goal courtesy of Phil Younghusband got the loudest response though as the Filipino-British striker unleashed a left-footed strike.
Irish international Robbie Keane also scored for the Galaxy, who extended a 2-1 halftime lead as the Azkals backline grew weary in the second half.
Keane struck in the 47th minute from a Beckham free kick, before Adam Cristman scored two goals, including in the 62nd minute off a feed from Donovan.
But the action on the pitch took a backseat upon the arrival of boxing champion Manny Pacquiao, who came into the stadium early in the second half to watch the game together with his wife Jinkee and their children.
Beckham was substituted in the 75th minute. When he left the pitch, he approached Pacquiao at the VIP area to give him his jersey.
Beckham praised the Azkals for their performance, particularly in the first half where the Philippines created more chances.
“I think there were many players in the team that got ability,” said Beckham, who sat alongside Chieffy Caligdong and Younghusband at the post match press conference. “There were moments in the first half where they could have equalized.”
Beckham also kept his promise to Younghusband during the pre-match press conference as he gave him another jersey during the post match interaction with reporters.
The English icon had actually left the press conference, but to the surprise of everyone inside the media room, he returned and handed Younghusband his jersey.
“David Beckham sitting with us at a press conference is a dream come true,” said Younghusband.
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